The Pacers win the second yearly Battle of the Lake 25-17, 25-18, 25-23
You knew it was going to be a battle.
And even though the Lakeridge volleyball team swept past Lake Oswego in straight sets — their match was held Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Lake Oswego High School — the two teams’ second annual Battle of the Lake lived up to its name.
The Lakers trailed by just two points late in each of the night’s first two sets, and led late in the third, but the Pacers held sway down the stretch each time and eventually edged away to win 25-17, 25-18, 25-23.
“This is so great taking the lake two times in my senior year,” said Lakeridge senior outside hitter/rightside hitter Niyah Coleman, who led her team with eight kills, three aces and a block. “It couldn’t feel better.”
“I think that energy is a big part of (winning),” said Pacer senior outside hitter/rightside hitter Sydney Hamlin, who added three kills, three aces and two blocks. “I think it’s a competition of energy and intensity and how hard you work, and I think we really stood out on that part.”
With the win, the 12th-ranked Pacers’ second straight and sixth in their last seven matches, Lakeridge improved to 7-3 in Three Rivers League play and 12-7 overall. No. 29 Lake Oswego, meanwhile, lost for the second straight time and fell to 4-7 in league play and 6-10 overall. Next up, the Pacers play in the West Linn Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 15, then return to TRL play by hosting league-leading Oregon City at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. The Lakers will conclude regular-season play with a match at St. Mary’s at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20.
While disappointed with the result, the Lakers were proud of their efforts against their crosstown rivals.
“I’m really proud of our team performance because I think we kept fighting throughout the game,” said Lake Oswego senior outside hitter Vivi Kaelin, who led her team with eight kills, two aces and a block. “We never got down on ourselves, we just kept on pushing and I think we played the best that we could.”
“They’re a good team,” added LO senior right-side hitter Claire Williams, who finished with four kills, three blocks and three aces. “But I think we really fought and there was a lot of improvement from our last game with them.”
The night’s first set was a back-and-forth affair until its mid-point, with Kaelin’s kill from the left side tying the score at 13-13. But Lakeridge pulled away with a 12-4 run down the stretch to win, getting kills from senior Raime Read, senior Isabella Walsh, Coleman and senior Lila Strupp, and an ace from Hamlin. Strupp’s cross-court attack from the right side, set by junior Sienna Wright, ended the game at 25-17.
Walsh, Reid and Coleman had three kills each in the set, while Williams had one kill, three aces and two blocks, and LO senior Grace Wollmuth added two kills and two blocks.
The second set was even closer for even longer, with LO sophomore Gabby Troche blocking Lakeridge junior Caroline Woodcock to tie the score at 16-16. But as was the case in the opening set, the Pacers took over late, using a 9-2 run to pull away and win 25-18.
Hamlin led the way there, with two kills and an ace, while Strupp notched a kill of her own and the game ended on a Laker hitting error. Hamlin finished with three kills, a block and an ace, Coleman collected three aces and two kills, and Read, Strupp and Woodcock added two kills apiece. For LO, Troche had three blocks and a kill, and Kaelin and Wollmuth two kills each.
The third set was an appropriate cap to the night — it was the closest and best played of the night. With Kaelin (four kills, two aces and a block) and sophomore Monica Holder (three kills) leading the way, the Lakers never trailed by more than two points until the very end, and grabbed a 19-18 lead when Holder’s attack from the left side rolled along the top of the net and dropped in for a point.
The Pacers kept their nerve down the stretch, however, and slipped away to win 25-23, with Coleman getting two kills and a block, and Strupp and Wright one kill each.
For the game, Coleman had three kills and a block, Strupp two kills, two aces and a block, and Woodcock two kills.
“It honestly couldn’t have gone better, especially winning in just three sets,” Coleman said. “We all worked as a team and it all went just as we planned.”
“I’m really proud of us and I’m excited to see how we can play (in the playoffs),” Hamlin said. “Off the court, we’re really close and I think that helps a lot in the games. I think we’re excited to go as far as we can together.”
For their part, the Lakers remained confident and hopeful.
“I think what we need is just to fight for every single ball,” Williams said. “I think we did a good job of that in this game, and as we play teams that are higher up than us, it’s just the mindset that we can beat them, the belief that even though they’re ranked higher than us, we can rise up against them.”
“Our key … (is) just to come out strong, come out aggressive, because we know we sometimes play tentative,” Kaelin added. “It’s really good for us to keep pushing even when we’re down no matter the situation.”
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